The design contest for the cover of my short story collection, “Empire’s Agent” is complete. I hope to have a proof copy in my hands in less than a week and a commercial release days after that.
At 57k words I have passed the MS of “American Imperium: Princess’ Crusade” onto one of my new copyeditors. He’s a little spastic about “?!” punctuation but I like the cut of his jib. Once “Empire’s Agent” is loose in the wild I shall likely begin another cover design contest. Tricky: the main character, 18-year old Faustina, spends half the book in a hospital bed with 2nd degree burns and no hair. Not the stuff for an eye-catching cover, is it?
And… speaking of Faustina: if there’s a part one, there better be a part two. Below the fold is the opening scene of “American Imperium: Empress’ Crusade.” Faustina is utterly full of herself and as arrogant “af” – as the kids say. I wanted to start things slow and humble. I have tiny, faint glimpses of where she might be going, but I won’t know until she gets there. Enjoy the ride with me!
I’ve a book cover design contest up on 99designs. If you are of the artistic vein, submit your ideas!
Been chewing on the legionary awards ceremony for days. This morning – sober, even! – I saw the answer: my typical terse style. Rather than put the reader through the hundred or so men coming forward for awards and promotions, all that happens “off stage” as it were. What we see is Faustina’s address, where she at last pulls back the curtain on what sort of political arrangement she has in mind for the territory she considers to be her own by right of conquest. This is going to have ramification back in Knoxville I cannot begin to see.
This marks the end of the raw manuscript that will either be Part One or Book One, at just over 56k words. Right now I must devote the coming weekend to implementing the copyedit changes proposed by Stephen Zimmer for my short story collection. And it still needs a cover. Busy, busy…
I close things out at the Hartmann Family Dinner. Henge has a random act of kindness for her new family; Faustina talks war with her father; Gary and Henge make another go or two at a sibling for Aurelia. Wrapping up lose ends, really. After this, Faustina and her legions are on the march!
If there’s one thing I love to write, it’s people talking. And there’s no better place to talk than around the dinner table. This is, obviously, a calm before the storm of war. Before Faustina leads her legions over the mountains and against a professional military of the world’s last superpower.
Part Two is all about Faustina’s crusade to take Savannah, the deep-water port of former Georgia, off the occupying Chinese and hand it on a platter to the resurgent city-states of the Tennessee River Valley.
Me being me, not doing “action” well, most of it will be about the people and their relationships. In this case, we start off with the government of Knoxville defining their problem and facing up to the only solution: the use of force. The fact that a demi-human girl has a near monopoly on said force is another thing entirely.
As you can tell from my posting, I was lost for days about one simple question: how is Faustina paying for all this? No matter what they feel for her, troops expect to be paid and weapons cost money… a lot of money. Until I had that answer given to me – and when it happened at DayJob on Monday and I burst out laughing (confirming their suspicions that I’m mental) – I could not write a word. Here’s half of what I laid down. More tonight or tomorrow!